MIAMI, Fla. (December 31, 2019) —
As 2019 reaches its final few hours, Inter are now up to 22 players, following the recent signings of Román Torres and Juan Agudelo. The roster is almost complete, with just a few more key players to recruit, including two vacant Designated Player slots, Miami’s inaugural roster is nearing completion.
Yesterday’s announcement of Diego Alonso as the first manager gave many fans relief. Sporting Director Paul McDonough downplayed the media focus: “We knew we were going to start with players before we had a coach,” McDonough said. “We’ve always said in signing the players, they’d match with David and my vision of how we’re going to play and build a club. We knew we’d find a coach that matched that, and our aspirations of trying to be successful.”
Much of Inter’s focus has been on players signed from within MLS. This included five key signings in the MLS expansion draft back on November 19th.
Miami has only three players signed from abroad so far: Argentines Matías Pellegrini, and forward Julian Carranza along with Venezuelan defender Christian Makoun. The Argentine pair are currently the crown jewels of the roster, with Pellegrini definitely occupying a Designated Player spot. Carranza might, but could also be bought down with TAM depending who else the club add. They’ll immediately become two of the league’s highest-rated young players. With those two designated player spots still open and several million dollars in TAM and GAM still unspent — as well as multiple open international slots — it’s likely we will see some international activity for Miami in the primary MLS transfer window. It’s worth pointing out that the European winter transfer window is open in January also.
Acquiring striker Roger Martínez would be the first major acquisition in that push. Miami has also been connected to River Plate starlet Exequiel Palacios, though clubs like Bayer Leverkusen are reportedly providing competition for the midfielder’s signature. The 21-year-old is expected to be sold for somewhere around $23 million dollars, which would be a new record signing for MLS.
Miami managing-owner Jorge Mas has not been shy about the club’s ambitions. “We aspire to bring the best players in the world, to bring the elite of international football, and not just (bring) the elite here to retire,” he told TUDN in November at the SoccerEx USA 2019 business conference in Miami.